Celestia's Awakening (1)
- I never really thought Alice’s magic obsession would go anywhere. Maybe she’d end up spending a few hundred dollars on crystals and incense and she’d get bored with it. I’ve never told her but I went on a similar kick back in high school. Not my finest moment but it was fun for a little while. Still, mostly just harmless, albeit expensive, nonsense. I never expected the hurried call at 1 in the morning urging me to visit her campus apartment.
- Now Alice and I were never really any sort of item. We met each other during Anime club our sophomore year in college. We both thought the anime selected was terrible. Obviously we bonded over this fact. We both shared a narrow variety of interests. In particular we enjoyed complaining about the taste of others whom we were forced to interact with. Each of our circles of friends was limited. While we both were quiet she tended to get a little abrasive when pressed while I was a little better at managing to keep my cool. Both of us typically preferred just to be left alone.
- So we were good friends but never really more. It just never really came up at the time. Either we were both focused too much on our studies and obsessing over our latest fandoms or we just weren’t looking for a relationship. Maybe there was a little tension there but neither of us would ever admit it. Still, we were there for each other when we needed it. Which brings me back to calls at 1 AM. I was a little less than thrilled with the time but I tossed on a heavy sweater and trekked across campus to her building anyway.
- When she opened the door to the building to let me in she looked absolutely terrible. Even with her face shadowed by her baggy hooded sweater I could see the bags under her eyes. She hurried me inside to her apartment who she shared with 3 other girls. Once inside, she sat down on her bed while I swiveled her computer chair around and took a seat. Her room was a bit of a mess, cleaner than mine of course, but papers and books were all over the floor. Both of us just sat there quietly for a bit.
- “So why couldn’t you talk over the phone?” I asked her as I leaned forward trying to get a look at her face.
- “I didn’t...” she stopped and buried her face in her hands.
- “Come on. What’s wrong?”
- She didn’t say anything. She froze for a moment and then in one quick motion pulled back her hood revealing strikingly pink hair.
- “So you dyed your-“
- “Touch it.” She blurted out.
- “Just touch it.”
- I slowly reached a hand forward. She pulled the remainder out of the sweater revealing it to be much longer than I remembered it. I felt it brush against the back of my hand. It felt strange, soft, and maybe a little warm. Before I could say anything her hand reached up and grasped my own hair. I stopped moving immediately. I wasn’t sure if this was some weird affectionate attempt on her part or if something was wrong. After a few seconds she pulled away and leaned back.
- “What was what?” I asked her. I couldn’t even form a coherent sentence.
- “It’s different isn’t it? Not human hair, right.”
- “Not human?” I question. “So you’re saying it’s not dyed?”
- “No! It’s not a dye job.” She stammered out as she tugged at the ends of her hair. “It’s just. You won’t believe me but...” She took a deep breath before blurting out the rest of her story. “Two days ago my hair just started coming in pink like this. It started at the roots but by the next morning it was all pink. Since then it’s been growing really fast. It’s like three times as long now. Look look, feel it. They’re not extensions or anything.” She gripped a fistful of her hair and offered it forward. She must have said the whole thing in that one breath. I had never heard a person talk so fast except at the end of commercials.
- “Calm down.” I said as I leaned back, a little put off. Her lip was quivering and her grip was so tight I was surprised she hadn’t pulled half of it out already. “Look look. I believe you. Do you have any idea how it happened?”
- “Yes, I mean no. I mean no.” She paused and looked away. “No, you’ll think I’m crazy.”
- “Your hair is pink and a foot longer than when I saw it last.” I offered as a reassurance.
- “I guess. Okay. You know how I’ve been doing magic stuff the past month? I think it’s that.” She winced.
- “I’ve looked for any other reason but there’s no logical explanation for suddenly pink hair that grows a thousand times faster than normal. I haven’t slept since, I’ve been trying to find an answer.”
- “So you cast a spell to give yourself pink hair then?”
- “It wasn’t. I mean. It’s embarrassing.” She seemed to look away.
- “Your hair is pink and a foot longer than when I saw it last.” I repeated.
- “Okay. The only thing I could think of is about 2 weeks ago I tried a spell. I was supposed to think of a pony I’d like to be more like and visualize our energies becoming one. I spent like an hour doing it but I didn’t think it did anything. I thought it was just one of those feel good self esteem spells. That is, until the day before yesterday when ‘this’ happened.” She gestured to her hair.
- “So which pony did you think of? Was it Pinkie Pie? Or was it Fluttershy?” I asked not knowing what else to offer. Neither was a pony she had been particularly fond of unless she was harboring some secret admiration that I had been unaware of.
- “It was, um, Princess Celestia.” Her voice had dropped. I almost couldn’t hear it.
- “Really? I guess.” I stared a little more closely at her hair. It was one of the colors of her mane. There was also that theory floating around about how her mane is naturally pink. “So is it just the hair then?”
- “Yes. I mean so far that’s all but I’m worried. I’ve been feeling stiff the past few days. I’m afraid it’s going to keep changing me. I just don’t know what to do.” She turned away from me and began staring at the floor again.
- I got up off my chair and moved over to the bed, plopping myself down next to her. “Well you could start by getting some sleep. You’ve been awake for two days?”
- I gave her a reassuring nudge. “That’s probably part of it. Get some sleep. We can talk about it in the morning. Get some sleep, take a shower, feel better. Okay?”
- “Okay.” She echoed not sounding all that confident.
- “I’ll talk to you in the morning then?” I asked as I stood up.
- “Right.” She was looking a little shaky again.
- “You can always call. I’ll make sure to plug in my phone.”
- “Don’t mention it.” I paused for a moment at the door. “Goodnight then.”
- “G‘night James.” She said forcing a small smile.
- The walk back to my dorm was uneventful. Cold, but uneventful. Maybe at that time a small part of me didn’t believe her. I mean, magic changing your hairs color, it seemed ridiculous but she seemed so earnest. I wanted to believe her. It not as if there wasn’t some evidence supporting the theory. I guess it didn’t really matter what caused it. Either way I found it hard to sleep. I can’t even imagine how it must have been for her.
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